If you are a young leader, please read through this post by Lorie Looney Keene (photo). She brings up some very thought provoking ideas about what you can learn now from older women to prepare you as you mature. If you are an older leader, read this and ask how you can share this with your younger women.
Recently, Elijah and I enjoyed another play date at the home of an elderly couple from our church. While Elijah ran around outside with the husband, I enjoyed a few moments inside alone with the wife. We had been discussing several things when the lady began to ask me how some of the recent widows in our church were getting along. I passed along what knowledge I had and we both agreed that this was an especially difficult season for them.
She then turned her face towards the lit fireplace in the room and seemed to be in silent thought for while. Quietly she said, “You know, it is so strange to be at the place in life where you are seeing your friends begin to die.”
She went on to share her feelings about the recent loss of several friends and how that causes her to evaluate her own life. Next, she stated, “I just love my husband so much; I don’t know what I would do if I were to lose him. I guess everyone handles it differently.” After a long pause of silence, I simply said “it has to feel odd to face so much loss among close friends.” “Odd” she replied, “Yes, it’s very odd.”
We did not go into any deep theological discussions about end of life issues, or how ‘good Christians’ should respond to such situations. Instead, I just listened and responded in the best way I knew how.
As younger women in the church, we have such a valuable opportunity to begin preparing now to face future losses from the experiences of these older generations. There are women in your church dealing with the sudden loss of a spouse, best friend or adult children. Rather than sequester ourselves into merely ‘young women’s groups’, we are wise to cultivate additional relationships with these ladies. Our peers are our current realities; these women are our future realities. Whether we want to admit it to ourselves or now; one day (should the Lord extend our lives) we will be the elderly lady at church perhaps dealing with a chronically ill spouse or recent widowhood. Friendships we make today can help us feel better prepared for tomorrow’s events.
Consider making a time to sit down with a recent widow in your church and asking her questions. A few to think about are:
1. How has your walk with the Lord been affected by this loss?
2. What is something you wish you could have done differently during this season?
3. If you could tell a young woman one thing about preparing for such a loss; what would it be?
Above all, remember to pray for the ladies in your church body who are now living with these losses. They are your sisters in another season of life. Know them and learn from them.
Lorie Looney Keene earned both a Masters of Divinity in Christian Education and a Masters of Theology (Th.M) from Southern Seminary, where she worked for three years as The Assistant Director of Women’s Programs. Prior to working at Southern Seminary, Lorie served in Poland with the International Mission Board and has over seven years experience as an ER nurse. She is the author of "Pull Up A Chair: You, Me and the Gospel of John (LINK)" by New Hope Publishing, as well as a contributing author to Journey Magazine . Lorie lives in Tullahoma, TN where her husband, Stephen is the Youth/Education Minister at Highland Baptist Church . She is a Sunday School teacher to HighSchool girls, leads a weekly women’s Bible study and teaches Biology at her church’s homeschool co-op. Currently, Lorie is enjoying the role of stay at home mom to her 2 year old son, Elijah.